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Acute Pulmonary Embolism

McLenon, Melissa MSN, RN, ACNP-BC

doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0b013e31824565fb
Advanced Case Studies in Acute/Critical Care

Venous thromboembolism is the third leading cause of cardiovascular death in the United States and is the second leading cause of death among hospitalized cancer patients. Continued controversy exists regarding the role of thrombolytic therapy among patients with acute pulmonary embolism. Limited research exists on thrombolytic therapy in this setting, most of which has focused on symptoms, including right ventricular function, hemodynamic status, and electrocardiographic changes. However, these studies have excluded patients with a known malignancy. Presented is an interesting case of a patient, in remission from breast cancer, who presented to the emergency department with symptomatic pulmonary emboli. The presentation, medical management, and consequences of the treatment have been discussed. Also, a brief review of the literature is presented regarding the treatment of acute pulmonary embolism.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing.

Correspondence: Melissa McLenon, MSN, RN, ACNP-BC, 1038 Misty Trails Lane, League City, TX 77573, (mmclenon@comcast.net).

The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.